Iran nuclear deal

Any new Iran deal must prevent Tehran from having nuclear weapons: GCC chief at IISS

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Any new nuclear deal with Iran must prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons, said the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Dr. Nayef al-Hajraf on Sunday.

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Al-Hajraf, who represents the six-member GCC, said Iran’s continues to destabilize the region and violate UN resolutions, including the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.

“[Iran is] still destabilizing the region with a view to achieve its political goals. Therefore, the GCC countries have been always reiterated [that] any new nuclear deal with Iran shall prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons and missiles, and shall demand Iran to meet the IAEA obligations and to fully cooperate with IAEA inspectors,” he said.

Any new deal should consider the GCC’s regional security interests, added al-Hajraf, who was speaking at the International Institute for Security Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue 2020 in Bahrain’s capital.

Al-Hajraf also distinguished between Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons and the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

“Iran’s nuclear program still poses a threat to the international peace and security and it’s still frequent covert effort to obtain nuclear weapons,” al-Hajraf said.

“Nuclear weapons pose a serious threat to our planet, which is the gravest danger ever encountered, as the use of such destructive weapons will cause humanitarian disasters,” he explained.

In contrast, he emphasized that GCC countries do not object to any country using nuclear energy for a “peaceful purpose” if the country takes all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its nuclear facilities, “especially if such facilities do not meet the nuclear safety and security standards.”

Al-Hajraf added that countries in the region are concerned about Iran’s nuclear reactor in the city of Mahshahr because “it is located on an active seismic line which may expose the region to substantial danger should any radiological leakage occur.”

He emphasized the need for Iran to follow IAEA standards and to “press Iran to sign conventions of nuclear safety.”

Security General al-Hajraf concluded by saying possessing nuclear weapons does not guarantee security and stability in any region of the world. Instead, peace is best achieved through “building trust and cooperation among countries and seeking to achieve progress and development which ensure security and stability in the world.”

“The GCC hopes that the “international community will pursue its efforts to create a nuclear weapon-free zone,” al-Hajraf said.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates make up the six countries of the GCC.

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